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Shelter

May 5, 2013

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High, will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty” – Psalm 91.

And so I continue my wander through the Psalms, battling past those Psalms of Asaph – see my post “Miserable”. And now we come to one of those familiar and all together happier and more inspiring landmarks. To me this verse reminds me of the martyred missionary Jim Eliot, after all the story of his life is depicted in the book “the Shadow of the Almighty”. I am not sure though I can remember the specific relevance of this verse to Eliot.

It is a Psalm which might appear on one level to say that God will protect us from all harm, that we will never face difficulties. But someone like Eliot reminds us that is never the case. Jim Eliot had prepared to go as a missionary to the Auca Indians only for him and his colleagues to be murdered by those he came to help, before they could even start their work.

But there is protection here in the shelter of God’s wing. There is security in knowing God. There is perspective in knowing that whatever happens to me I am secure in God, even in death itself. Eliot famously said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”. O for all Jesus’ followers to have that kind of perspective.

The verse reminds us that the shelter of the Most High is the place we live. It is not somewhere we visit from time to time; on a Sunday or when life gets tough. As Jesus said when talking about himself as the Vine – you need to abide in me. There needs to be a consistency. A desire to be in it for the long haul. Will we take time to live in the presence of God, breathing the air of prayer, feeding on his word, living it out?

The psalmist talks of shelter, refuge, dwelling. This is the place to be. And there is protection under these wings. I read recently of a fire in Yellowstone National Park (I want to say Jellystone but that just shows my age!). When the ranger went around afterwards he discovered the charred remains of a bird, but as he pushed it away three live chicks scuttled out. The mother bird had paid the ultimate price to ensure the safety of those chicks.

As we seem to keep coming back to, how far did God go to bring us home safely? At the cost of the life of his one and only son.

So what do we face this week? If we feel insecure where will we run? In God we can find rest.

And I think I need to read “In the Shadow of the Almighty” again…

 

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